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5 Tips for Selling Your Seasonal Business During the Offseason

Many small businesses – whether you’re an ice cream parlor in a resort town or a Christmas tree farmer in Vermont – have a busy season. And when everyone is rushing to buy what you’re selling in just a few weeks or months, sales will be easy to come by.

But what do you do during the offseason? After all, your specialty might fall off the radar for a few months every year, but the bills never take a month off.

The following are a few tips for seasonal small business owners on how to stay busy and profitable, even during downtimes.

1. Seek Out Greener Pastures: If your small business is outdoorsy in nature and thrives in particular types of weather, geographical diversification can help you enjoy a “busy season” all year long. Let’s say you’re a pool installer in the American northeast – chances are you’re pretty productive in late spring through early fall, but are often sitting on your thumbs during colder months. Making a push into warmer climates can help extend your season at least by a few months, if not the rest of the year.

2. Test Out Timing: If your business only really thrives for a few months each year, ask yourself: Is it because the business is only there for those few months? Or is it because you’ve always assumed the business is only there for those few months, and thus scheduled your marketing accordingly? Consider cranking up the intensity of your marketing in the months bookending your traditional busy season – you may find that enough customers are listening to more than justify the increased spend.

3. Diversify Your Offerings: There’s a reason why pool and hot tub vendors suddenly sell Christmas trees and other decorations come the winter – people aren’t always seeking out their core products, but they can put their retail space to other uses. At the most extreme, it could mean going from selling one specific product line to specializing in several, disparate lines. But it also could mean expanding your seasonal offerings to complementary products and services to generate enough in additional profits that the offseason isn’t as painful.

4. Grow Your Customer List: You don’t have to ring the register to be productive. Spend your offseason creating content for your blog, improving your website, growing your social media presence and finding creative ways to reach potential customers. Then push all these buttons once the season heats up again to help grow your database of contacts.

5. Talk to the Pros: Recalibrating a seasonal business – whether it’s to add new business lines or expand geographical reach – is a significant undertaking that can include substantial costs for an unsure payoff. It’s a move that requires research, testing and expertise. The business consulting professionals at McManamon & Co. can help walk you through the risks, rewards and all the work in between to help you determine whether you can turn your seasonal money maker into an all-weather profit press.

Are you trying to pay a full year of business expense with just a few months of sales? Call McManamon & Co. at 440.892.9088 or contact us online, and we can help you stretch your budget and your calendar.


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